Saturday, April 10, 2021

Puerto Rico Housing Dept.: $800 Million in CDBG-DR Funds Available

By on February 25, 2021

(Screen capture of https://cdbg-dr.pr.gov)

In long-term, low-interest loans of up to $50 million that are partially forgivable for commercial, mixed-use and infrastructure developments

SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Housing Secretary William Rodríguez announced Thursday that as part of the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Action plan, the Economic Development Investment Portfolio for Growth (IPG) program’s first phase has been started. It consists of receiving the intention to participate from interested entities.

The program establishes the funding of projects that significantly impact and enable the long-term economic growth and sustainability of the island, the department says, adding that it “will also have the capacity to be a funding stream for projects determined by the central government to be key drivers for Puerto Rico’s new economy in alliance with the economic recovery plan.”

The program provides long-term, low-interest loans of up to $50 million that are partially forgivable for commercial, mixed-use and infrastructure developments.

“My commitment is to promote the reconstruction of a stronger and more resilient Island, but above all to accelerate the growth of the local economy. We are working with a great sense of urgency to allocate CDBG-DR funds to foster economic development and combat business divestment, business closures, and the outmigration of workers from all sectors that Puerto Rico had been experiencing and was aggravated by hurricanes Irma and María,” the secretary said.

The IPG Program has been allocated $800 million in the Puerto Rico CDBG-DR Action Plan, as amended.

The IPG Program intends to award gap funding for large-scale commercial and industrial development in a broad-ranging category of activities that cover a wide variety of economic revitalization initiatives. This may include but is not limited to the development/redevelopment of Commercial Developments, Mixed-use Developments and Infrastructure Development in support of an economic development investment.

As a preliminary process for the IPG Program, interested entities are asked to submit an Expression of Interest and provide a high-level description of their economic development project.

The IPG will accept applications in two phases: an Expression of Interest and a Full Application.

In the Expression of Interest phase, applicants must provide Housing with a general description of the proposed project, the preliminary budget and other details of the project. Entities with eligible expressions of interest will then be invited to submit a full application to the program in several phases.

The number of stages will be determined by aligning the economic priorities identified by Housing with the universe of eligible projects submitted during the Expression of Interest phase. The agency will determine and notify of said stages and the calendar for the application and delivery periods to the entities invited to submit a complete application.

“Puerto Rico is experiencing its best moment today, the table is set for the most comprehensive reconstruction of our history. Billions of dollars in federal funds that will allow us to modernize all of our infrastructure, significantly improving the quality of life of this and the next generations of Puerto Ricans. We are all called upon to contribute and be part of this gigantic project to build the Puerto Rico that we all want and deserve,” the Secretary-Designate of the Economic Development and Commerce Department, Manuel Cidre, said in the media release.

The IPG Program is for large-scale development projects that are transformative in nature and create or retain low-to-moderate income jobs or cascading economic impacts.

Eligible entities for IPG include: For-profit Businesses, Not-for-profit Organizations, Community-based Economic Development Organizations, Community Development Financial Institutions, Units of General Local Government/Government of Puerto Rico Agencies, Authorities, Trusts, and Boards and Public-Private Partnerships.

Entities can submit their interest in participating at www.cdbg-dr.pr.gov on or before April 3. Housing will issue requests for additional information or clarification, as necessary.

See the program guidelines here.

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